The Statistician General of the Federation Dr Yemi Kale has in one fell swoop discredited Nigeria’s population figure. The erudite Kale, in an interview reported by the media was quoted as saying that the ball park 170 million population figure brandished about was wrong.
The last time Nigeria had a an official population census was in 2006 and back then total population was about 120 million. Since then several unverified remarks have estimated Nigeria’s population to between 170m and 180m. This is probably what Kale was referring to when he said that Nigeria’s population should be lower than what is being brandished in the media.
I believe that those who say that Nigeria has a population of 170 million are wrong. This is because, you cannot continue to use the three per cent growth rate used since 2006 to calculate the current population. So, you cannot say accurately that Nigeria’s population is 170 million or more. Certain cultures like early marriage, which used to be the norm, are now changing. Women are now embracing western education more than they did years ago. That is also a factor to consider.
“What used to happen is that some people gave wrong census of their population in order to create the impression that they are more in number. So, these contributed to the higher number bandied around often. So, with this, you can see that the nation’s population cannot have reached 170 million in the real sense,” he clarified.
The implication of his comments (which he also did not prove) could be far reaching as population figures also influence where foreign investors take their money to. Nigeria’s population has been one of the major reasons why it attracts foreign direct investments considering its potential to stimulate markets for goods and services.